On a Sunday afternoon, as I ordered Chipotle delivery, my wife asked, “How are you going to sit there and order Chipotle? You know I don’t like Chipotle.” I quickly replied, “I know you don’t like it. I only ordered it for myself.” You might imagine how my evening went after this exchange. After being married almost 19 years, you’d think a takeout meal wouldn’t be a big deal.
Why do we argue about such small things? I think it’s because married couples either don’t know how to be married, or we forget what the priorities should be in marriage. Most of us haven’t seen marriage modeled well. So we need continual reminders of what a good marriage looks like. You must learn how to make your wife feel loved and appreciated. From my experience, here are 3 misconceptions about marriage.
1. Marriage is boring.
Chris Rock once said, “Do you want to be single and lonely or married and bored?” We think of marriage as some boring institution. And many marriages are boring. That’s because somewhere along the way, we forget the meaning of marriage. I’m prone to it. I’ve been at a coffee shop for a meeting, knowing my wife enjoys the place. But after the meeting, I simply drive home without telling her where I was and without surprising her with a cup of her favorite coffee. This may sound like a small thing, but being thoughtless is what makes a marriage boring.
Marriage isn’t meant to be boring. I believe God uses marriage to make us better. You probably took a vow at your wedding and said, “…for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, ’til death do us part.” The boring husband takes his wife for granted. You vowed to put your wife before yourself. Being thoughtful brings a dull marriage to life.
2. Marriage is about you.
In The Meaning of Marriage, Tim Keller wrote, “Both men and women today see marriage not as a way of creating character and community but as a way to reach personal life goals.” If we have the wrong motives—selfish motives—our marriages will be bad marriages or perhaps even end.
Marriage isn’t meant to be selfish. Selfish motives lead to disconnections. So, once you aren’t pleased, it’s over. What happens next? Maybe you move on from this marriage, but your capacity to love has been limited. Your future relationships will only go a certain distance. Be careful you aren’t using marriage for control, to feel good about yourself, or to get your way.
3. Marriage is temporary.
Many couples marry each other and, in the back of their minds, decide that if the marriage doesn’t go as planned, they’ll simply end it. My wife and I decided early on in marriage that no matter how upset we were at each other, saying “divorce” was always out of bounds. It’s childish to think that if something doesn’t go your way, you’ll take your toys and leave. This mindset dishonors your wife. It treats her like an object you can discard when you’ve got what you want. But it also isn’t helping you in the long run. Keep running from real relationships and all you’ll eventually look back at is a conveyor belt full of your own baggage.As husbands, our mission in marriage is to help our wives, and not for ulterior motives, but as God designed.
Marriage isn’t meant to be temporary. It’s meant to last until one of you dies. As husbands, our mission in marriage is to help our wives, and not for ulterior motives, but as God designed. Your job is to help your wife become the best version of herself. You are to contribute meaningfully to her life—to serve, honor, encourage, and inspire. That is not only the meaning of marriage but it’s the purpose of your life. It is “’til death.” The mission of marriage is to die a thousand deaths to yourself daily for the benefit of your wife, in thoughts, words, and actions. Then, if you wake up, do it again tomorrow.
Sound off: What other misconceptions about marriage have you noticed?
Huddle up with your wife and ask, “What are the top three words you’d use to describe our marriage?”